OLYMPIA – Feb. 23, 2015 – The state’s Business Licensing Service received its one millionth online application this month. The lucky business won’t receive a special award or recognition, but the milestone highlights how far business licensing has come.
Businesses in Washington must have a current registration and often need other state and city licenses to operate. In the past, businesses had to apply to each government agency separately to obtain their licenses – a frustrating and time-consuming experience. In 1977, the state created a master license service to begin consolidating business licensing requirements.
Over the years, that system has modernized and grown to include more than 400 state licenses and 65 city business licenses. The state’s online business license application process first debuted in late 2000. While paper applications are still accepted, more than 85 percent are filed electronically.
Growing the number served
The Business Licensing Service adds new city “partners” each year, simplifying the licensing process for businesses. Cities also benefit by focusing their resources on other local services while the Business Licensing Service handles the administrative side of licensing.
Whether it’s a city or state license, applicants file one application and make one consolidated payment for the license fees. And when licenses need to be renewed, Revenue notifies the businesses on behalf of all its partners.
Washington is just one of a few states that allow a business to register with cities at the same time as it registers with the state. Interesting facts about business licensing in Washington:
- Average number of license/endorsement applications filed each day: 320
- Number of partner cities: 65
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